Here are the front-runners to land Garoppolo, Romo in NFL’s QB shuffle

The jostling for the few intriguing quarterbacks on the market has already begun. The NFL combine is still weeks away, while the start of the league year is over a month away, but deep, internal strategic discussions are ongoing in several quarterback-needy front offices. These clubs are outlining their offseason plans at the most critical position in football, and targets have already been set.

The Chicago Bears will make a strong, concerted effort to acquire quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots , according to sources with knowledge of the situation. The Illinois native is far and away their top offseason priority.

The Dallas Cowboys will listen to offers for Tony Romo , sources said, once owner Jerry Jones has his meeting with the Pro Bowl quarterback. Romo prefers to be moved to a contending team — specifically, the Houston Texans , Arizona Cardinals , Denver Broncos or Kansas City Chiefs . The Buffalo Bills also have significant interest in Romo, team and league sources said, though they realize that it might be a tough sell. The Bills have not given up hope on retaining Tyrod Taylor on a lesser contract, too, though that might be wishful thinking on their part at this point.

Many teams view Garoppolo as the best option of all potential free-agent or trade targets, and the Bears will have competition. Teams like the Cleveland Browns , New York Jets and 49ers could provide opposition, but the Bears’ intent and willingness to complete a trade could not be more serious. Quarterback is an acute need — the Bears are moving on from Jay Cutler — and jobs are on the line there after two poor seasons from the John Fox and Ryan Pace regime. The Bears have abundant draft picks they could trade — including picks in the top three of each round — and while rival executives do not believe the Patriots will land a first-round pick that high via trade, a package including multiple high second-round picks is quite possible. Furthermore, trading Garoppolo out of the AFC would appeal to the Patriots, who expect him to prosper elsewhere.

The Bears have done extensive work on Garoppolo and are very comfortable with him. He shined in the preseason and was exceptional filling in for Tom Brady early this season and has strong roots to that community. He played at Eastern Illinois, where Pace played as well. Romo, Mike Shanahan and Saints coach Sean Payton are also Eastern Illinois products; Pace and Payton worked together in New Orleans and were very high on Garoppolo coming out of college.

The Bears are prepared to engage in talks on Garoppolo at the combine later this month, or sooner if need be. Trades cannot be officially consummated, however, until the league year begins in March. The Bears acknowledge it will be difficult to land much of anything for Cutler, with other teams preferring to not trade for him and instead wait for him to be cut to then sign him to a cheaper contract, though a suitor could emerge.

The Jets have strong evaluations on Garoppolo, but realize it’s virtually certain Bill Belichick would not trade the prized young passer within the division. The 49ers are very high on the Redskins’ Kirk Cousins, sources continue to maintain, but Washington will franchise the impending free-agent quarterback and is prepared to engage in talks in a lucrative long-term deal with him. It would take a huge haul of picks to pry Cousins away, and new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who along with his dad drafted Cousins in Washington, has a ravaged roster with needs at every position. Paying that kind of draft-pick price could be prohibitive. The Bears also have done significant work on Cousins, but with the Redskins going to franchise him and that process playing out perhaps throughout the offseason, the timing may not work out and this team can’t afford to be left without a seat in these musical quarterback chairs.

The Browns have stockpiled draft picks (again) and will explore multiple quarterback options, and they and the Jets are highly intrigued by North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, as we first reported months ago. Texans coach Bill O’Brien is a big believer in Garoppolo as well, but he is stuck with Brock Osweiler’s salary for another year, and he is planning on giving Tom Savage every opportunity to win that starting job, sources said. Ownership has already declared the need to draft a quarterback.

Romo’s market will be robust as well. The Chiefs have to make a determination on whether he, or any other option, would give them a better opportunity to win a Super Bowl than Alex Smith does. Smith has already played out the guaranteed portion of his contract. If so, Smith would be a trade-worthy commodity as well. While some reported the Cowboys might just let Romo walk, the demand for him should be such that Jerry Jones gets a strong return on his investment. Some GMs opined that the Cowboys would get a second-round pick, plus potentially another high pick based on Romo’s playing time (injuries have dogged him in recent years).

The Broncos are likely inclined to give Paxton Lynch, their first-round pick in 2016, every chance to take the starting reigns there, so a trade might not match up. Fitting Romo under the salary cap with Osweiler would be a challenge for the Texans. If Carson Palmer retires, Romo could be an option in Arizona, and sources said the Cardinals are very high on Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and could be prepared to trade up to land him this spring. If the Cardinals determine Watson is out of their reach, Tyrod Taylor is very appealing to Arizona and would be a great fit in Bruce Arians’ scheme.

Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon is viewed as the best of the free-agent quarterbacks set to hit the market, and his market will further come into focus after the chase for Garoppolo and Romo concludes.

Colts owner Jim Irsay was ‘a little confused’ at first by Pat McAfee’s retirement, as many of us are

Money doesn’t and shouldn’t rule everyone’s decisions, so in some ways Pat McAfee should be celebrated for pursuing what makes him happy. But McAfee’s surprise retirement from his job punting with the Indianapolis Colts is going to take a while to process.

McAfee, who was slated to make $5.5 million in salary and made a Pro Bowl this season, quit to join the site Barstool Sports. I’m not sure what Barstool is paying these days, but it’s not $5.5 million over the next two years.

“I just turned down a lot of money in the NFL,” McAfee said on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

This isn’t like some other early NFL retirements, where players are worried about concussions. It’s not the first time someone has retired for a media opportunity. In 2004 Shannon Sharpe retired from the NFL because he was offered a spot on CBS’ studio show and didn’t know when that opportunity would present itself again. McAfee was in no danger of Barstool Sports not keeping a spot open for him.

“When Barstool Sports approached me about the potential of joining their family whenever I’m done with football, I said, ‘I might be done sooner than some think,’” McAfee said on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

As a punter, he has more time for side projects and could have worked more in the media on the side. But he decided to make a clean break.

McAfee said he started thinking this season, “There has to be more to life than kicking balls.” McAfee has started a stand-up comedy career, and this career change is a way to keep pursuing that. He said he met with Colts owner Jim Irsay on Monday to tell him his plans.

“For the first 15 minutes he was a little confused, and was trying to lure me back,” McAfee told Patrick. “Once he saw my excitement and I showed my incredible gratitude to him, we had an hour and 30 minute conversation and all he did was support me and he was excited for me.”

One thing that can make sense for anyone is that McAfee was dealing with knee problems. He was scheduled to have his third knee surgery in four years, with “more surgeries certain,” he said.

“It was definitely a part of it,” McAfee said. “My brain and shoulders are going to be good for the rest of my life hopefully because I don’t play one of the super tough positions of football obviously, but my knees have really taken a beating. The last half of the season I really couldn’t walk much on days I didn’t kick. I’d lay in bed and ice my knees. I felt like a 90-year-old man.”

McAfee shocked everyone by announcing his retirement late Wednesday night on Super Bowl week. The whole thing was sudden, even a bit for him it seems.

“I actually was googling this morning, how do you exactly retire from the NFL?” said McAfee, who said he hadn’t yet filed his retirement papers. “I don’t know what to do.”

You Don’t Miss this Greatest Sports Moments of All Time

Great Moment: Diego Maradona’s goals for Argentina against England in the 1986 FIFA World Cup

AKA The Hand of God and the Goal of the Century. The Hand of God, one of the most controversial goals, was scored as the result of an illegal (but unpenalised) handball by Diego Maradona in the quarter-final match of the 1986 FIFA World Cup between England and Argentina. Five minutes later, Maradona scored another goal, the Goal of the Century, also known as “Greatest Goal in FIFA World Cup History”, was an award given for the greatest goal ever scored in a FIFA World Cup tournament. Maradona then began his 60-metre, 10-second dash towards the English goal, leaving behind five English outfield players (Hodge, Beardsley, Reid, Butcher and Fenwick) as well as goalkeeper Peter Shilton to make the score 2–0 to Argentina.

 

Rocky Marciano

Great Moment: Rocky Marciano Retires As Heavyweight Champ Undefeated at 49-0

was the heavyweight champion of the world from 1952 to 1956. Marciano, with forty-three knockouts to his credit (87.8% knockout rate), remains the only heavyweight champion in boxing history to retire having won every fight in his professional career.

 

Kerri Strug

Great Moment: Kerri Strug’s one footed Vault

Was an gymnast for the 1996 Olympics, upon her first attempt Strug under-rotated the landing of her first attempt, causing her to fall and damage her ankle. Strug thus limped slightly to the end of the runway for her second attempt. She landed the vault briefly on both feet, almost instantly hopping onto only her good foot. Strug raised her arms after her vault, saluting the judges. She then needed assistance off the landing platform due to the injury. The completed vault received score of 9.712, which ended all doubt about whether the Americans would receive the gold.

 

Jackie Robinson

Great Moment: Jackie Robinson Signs a Major League Contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers

He was the first African-American major league baseball player of the modern era in 1947. his Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended approximately eighty years of baseball segregation. In the United States at this time, many white people believed that blacks and whites should be segregated or kept apart in many aspects of life, including sports.

 

Bob Beamon

Great Moment: Bob Beamon long jumps 29′ 2 1/2 inches to shatter the world record by more than two feet

On October 18, 1968 at Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Beamon set a World record for the Long jump with a jump of 8.90 m (29 ft. 2½ in.). Destroying the last record by about 2 ft. Sports journalist Dick Schaap wrote a book about the leap, called The Perfect Jump. The record stood for 23 years until Mike Powell broke it by only 2 inches in 1991.

 

Lou Gehrig

Great Moment: Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech

A native of New York City, he played for the New York Yankees until his career was cut short by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), now commonly referred to in the United States as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Over a 15-season span between 1925 and 1939, he played in 2,130 consecutive games. On July 4, 1939, a dying man stood before over 60,000 people and told them he was the “luckiest man on the face of the earth” for being able to play in ballparks for 17 years, and recieve nothing but kindness and encouragement from his fans. Lou Gehrig became a symbol of what sports, and maybe life is all about. accepting your destiny, giving it your all, and enjoying every moment, good or ill.

 

Mark McGwire

Great Moment: Mark McGwire over Sammy Sosa, 70-66, for the new home-run crown

There was much media speculation as to where Maris’ HR record would be broken in 1998, and a debate as to who would break it, Ken Griffey, Jr. or McGwire. As the 1998 season progressed, it became clear that McGwire, Griffey, and Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa were all on track to break Roger Maris’ single-season home run record. The race to break the record first became a media spectacle as the lead swung back and forth. On September 8, 1998 at 8:18 p.m. et, McGwire hit a pitch by the Chicago Cubs’ Steve Trachsel over the left field wall for his record-breaking 62nd home run, setting off huge celebrations at Busch Stadium. McGwire finished the 1998 season with 70 home runs, four ahead of Sosa’s 66.

 

Michael Phelps

Great Moment: Michael Phelps wins 8 Gold Medals at the Olympics

In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals, the record for the most medals won at a single olympics. With this record, he surpassed Mark Spitz, who had held the previous gold medal total with the seven. In the 2008 Olympics Michael Phelps set 7 new world records, only missing the 100 m Butterfly, where he beat Milorad ?avic by 0.01 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

Muguruza canters

French Open PHOTOS: Halep survives Osaka scare; Muguruza canters

Simona Halep avoided the embarrassment of falling victim to a teenager who calls herself “a child of the internet” as she huffed and puffed her way into the fourth round of the French Open with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Naomi Osaka on Friday.

It seemed as if the Romanian’s name would be splashed across the World Wide Web as the latest high-profile casualty in the French capital. She was totally bamboozled in the opening set by a Japanese opponent ranked 101st in the world.

However, the sixth seed made sure she did not suffer the same fate as Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber or fifth seed Victoria Azarenka. She kept her wits about her despite a barrage of winners flying off Osaka’s racket.

The 18-year-old’s winning groundstrokes in the opening set drove Halep to take out her frustration on her racket as she went set point down. She earned a code violation from the umpire for turning her racket into a mangled mess after repeatedly hammering the frame against the red dirt.

It was too late to save the first set, but releasing her anger certainly produced the desired result in the second set. The 2014 Roland Garros finalist saved a break point in the opening game before levelling the match.

Naomi Osaka reacts

However, by this stage, Halep had had her fill of close calls for the day. She ran off with the last three games to wrap up victory.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza hits a forehand against France's Myrtille Georges during their French Open second round match

Muguruza converted all of her six break points to set up a meeting with either Russian 24th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova

Garbine Muguruza greets Yanina Wickmayer at the net after the win

 

 

some positive news about F1 legend

Finally, some positive news about F1 legend Schumacher’s health

Former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has given positive news about Schumacher’s recovery, saying that the 47-year-old legend is ‘reacting’.

Montezemolo further insisted that the F1 legend’s determination would surely bring him out of his dreadful situation.

But the former F1 boss did not elaborate on what he meant by “reacting”.

Meanwhile, Schumacher will be awarded with the inaugural ‘Nurburgring Award’ for winning at the fabled circuit for a record five times in Germany.

The gong, which will be given at an award ceremony later in May, will be collected by former Ferrari and Mercedes driver’s manager Sabine Kehm, Sport24 reported.

Reflecting on Schumacher’s achievement, former Mercedes director Norbert Haug said that no one deserves the award better than the German, insisting that the award for his life’s work would provide him a lot of strength on his road to recovery.

 

The saddest moment of Nadal’s career was…

Rafael Nadal knows only too well what it’s like to miss out on playing at the Olympics, hence he does not understand why so many of his fellow tennis professionals are turning their backs on the Rio Games in August.

When injury forced the 2008 Beijing gold medallist to withdraw from the 2012 London Games, he described it as ‘one of the saddest moments of my career’.

As a result he finds it baffling that players such as American John Isner, Australian Bernard Tomic, rising Austrian Dominic Thiem, and fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez have chosen to be absent.

“The experience of competing in an Olympic Games is completely different than any other event. The Olympics is the most important event in the world of sport,” the nine-time French Open champion said on Thursday.

“If you don’t want to be in the most important event in the world of sport, then is difficult to understand what’s the motivation for the rest of the things.”

World No 1 Novak Djokovic had some sympathy for players such as Isner and thought ranking points should have been awarded in Rio like they had been in London — where up to 750 points were on offer.

“Everybody’s free to do whatever but I know how tough it was for me when I had to miss the 2012 Olympics in London,” added Nadal, the only active men’s player who has won every major singles title tennis has to offer.

“I cannot understand people who don’t want to go to Olympics. It’s something that is not every year. It’s an event that you can compete only once, twice, or maybe three times in your career, if you are lucky.

 

Muirfield member rips Rory McIlroy, defends the club’s ban on women

Last week, the R&A announced it was pulling Muirfield out of the British Open rotation after the private golf club upheld its ban on women.

After two years of consultation, Muirfield took a vote on whether female members should be allowed, and while a majority of the club’s 750 members voted yes, the vote fell 14 short from the two-thirds majority required to change the rules.

This, obviously, was not a good look for anyone involved in golf, and Muirfield’s decision frustrated some of the game’s most high-profile stars. Rory McIlroyhad this to say.

“It’s not right to host the biggest golf tournament at a club where women are not allowed,” McIlroy said. “Hopefully, Muirfield will see some sense and we can get it back on the rota.

“When we are trying to break out of this stuffy old image, this is not what we need. We are trying to move with the times and do things to make golf faster, make golf cooler and include more people. This wasn’t a great day.”

“It wasn’t so much a vote against the ladies as a vote against the media and the press telling us what to do. No-one likes being hammered all the time.

 

Tiger reportedly enters the British Open ahead of deadline

Tiger Woods officially put his name in for The Open Championship ahead of Thursday’s deadline for entries, ESPN reported.

According to the report, Woods’ said agent said the entry was completed so that the 14-time major winner is eligible for the tournament in July.

Woods, who has had multiple surgeries on his back, said in March that there’s still no timetable for his return to the PGA Tour, but that his health is improving.

“What I tried to explain is that a lot of times you don’t have the same rhythm of playing like you do in a PGA Tour event,” Tiger said on his official website at that time. “You don’t know how much you’re going to play, and that uncertainty requires an adjustment. In the Presidents Cup, you play in every match.”

Woods finished tied for ninth in 2004 at Royal Tyroon, which will host this year’s British Open.

 

 

Warriors stave off elimination, force Game 6 against Thunder

OAKLAND, Calif. — “We’re not going home! We’re not going home!” Stephen Curry screamed at the top of his lungs.

No, his Golden State Warriors are going back to Oklahoma City, after keeping their title reign and the winningest season in NBA history alive for at least one more game.

Curry scored 31 points, raising his arms in the early moments to awaken Golden State’s raucous crowd, and the defending champions staved off elimination with a 120-111 victory over the Thunder on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

 
For all the speculation about the current state of Curry’s beat-up body — that troublesome ankle, sore knee or tender elbow — he did it all.
“I thought he looked like 91 percent,” coach Steve Kerr cracked. “He came out and played a really good game. That’s all I can tell you. He’s going to compete every night. He had an excellent night and helped us get it done.”

The MVP made a snazzy layup late and dished out six assists, while Klay Thompson added 27 points as Golden State sent the best the best-of-seven series back to Oklahoma City for Game 6 on Saturday night. Golden State trails 3-2 and is trying to become just the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit.

 

Peyton Manning says he won’t coach Volunteers, will let his son play football

Peyton Manning seems to be settling into life as a retired two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback. And that doesn’t include donning a headset on the sideline for his alma mater.

Silencing speculation that he has his sights set on the head coaching job at Tennessee, Manning told the crowd at the Middle Tennessee Sports Awards in Nashville on Thursday that he has no aspirations to coach the Volunteers at this time.

Asked whether he would allow his 5-year-old son to play football amid the concussion concerns surrounding the game, Manning acknowledged the dangers but said he’ll allow it.

And as for a potential NFL comeback, don’t count on it.

For now, the 40-year-old five-time NFL MVP will be busy watching football, doing speaking engagements and coming up with new Nationwide jingles.